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Summary: Hearing #5
On 5 January, the Baku Grave Crimes Court chaired by Judge Azad Majidov held a hearing on the criminal case of NIDA Civic Movement member Elgiz Gahraman.
Because of a motion filed by Fariz Namazli, the youth activist’s lawyer, Forensic Examination Centre expert Gulshan Humbatova testified at the hearing as an additional witness.
While answering the lawyers’ questions, the witness stated that Kamil Mammadov, an employee of the Main Organised Crime Department (MOCD), had brought the drugs, allegedly found on Elgiz Gahraman, to the expert examination department. “Typically the cases enter our department and then a report is drawn up. Normally, even after working hours, drugs are sent to our office for examination. In connection with this incident, a sealed envelope containing a cellophane packet of drugs was brought. We did a test and identified from which narcotic plant the drugs originated. This test takes us half an hour. Factoring in the report, the examination lasts for one hour. After finishing my task, I hand over the drugs to the head of department who does the sealing and other procedures,” the witness said.
Lawyer Fariz Namazli then noted that it was unknown whether any investigative action had been implemented with regard to the source of the alleged drugs. The lawyer lodged a motion to send a request to MOCD in this respect.
Commenting on the motion, public prosecutor Abisalam Heydarov said the criminal case on the source of the drugs had been detached from this case and investigations in that direction were in progress, and on those grounds, he asked for the rejection of the motion.
The court denied the motion. The presiding judge told the parties not to digress from the charges announced.
The judge then declared the completion of the judicial investigation.
The public prosecutor said the charges against Elgiz Gahraman were proven by the witness testimonies and asked the court to sentence the youth activist to 6 years in prison.
The lawyers requested time to prepare for defence speeches.
The next hearing was set for 11 January, 12 pm.
Background: Elgiz Gahramanov was detained together with his friend by plainclothesmen at noon on 12 August 2016. His friend was released several hours later, but the activist himself was not freed. His family members at first decided to wait and not to publicise the issue immediately, but having contacted the 102 hotline of the Ministry of Internal Affairs they were unable to obtain information. After the issue was made public on 15 August 2016, it emerged that Elgiz Gahramanov was charged under Article 234.4.3 (illegal purchase or storage with a view of selling, manufacturing, processing, transporting, or transfering a large amount of narcotics or psychotropic substances) of the Criminal Code and had been ordered detained for 4 months by Narimanov District Court’s decision of 13 August 2016.